Tonawanda News


August 1, 2013

CRITTER COMPANIONS: Recognize dehydration in pets

At work our five male naked mole rats had thirteen babies. I guess this means that one of them was incorrectly sexed. The female and babies were separated due to the history of the rest of the colony killing the babies. Who knew naked mole rats could get jealous?

Naked mole rats live in a similar manner to ants. They live underground, dig tunnels and have one queen that has all the offspring. They all have a specific job, including digging tunnels, protecting the entrances from predators and finding food. 

Naked mole rats are from the arid parts of Africa. The foods that they gather are root vegetables. In the wild they acquire their water from their food.

We placed the mother and babies in an enclosure that had bedding, PVC and cardboard tubes, a heat source and food. They get fed a variety of vegetables including carrots, white and sweet potatoes, parsnips and a pelleted herbivore. In the past we never gave them additional water. I asked the veterinarian if we could give the mother some additional water. He said as long as it was the size of a bottle cap. It needed to be shallow enough for the babies not to drown.

In the wild they get enough water content from the foods that they gather, but in captivity maybe a nursing mother cannot. The vet said that many animals that live under human care have trouble getting enough water. 

The nutrient-infused pellets and kibble that we feed to our pets are dense because they have been concentrated. Through the concentration process water evaporates and salt is added to prolong the shelf life. Water allows the body to function properly and by decreasing the water content in our pets’ food our pets are now inclined to become dehydrated.

Text Only
  • SUN LIFE Volunteers honored 1 040614.jpg Women Who Move the City (and beyond)

    April 7, 2014 2 Photos

  • SUN LIFE POUND 1040614j jpg.jpg Rock n' roll fitness

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - crib notes RGB Enough of this winter -- it's time for spring

    Midway through separating the bits of dog food from the shredded paper towel pieces on the saturated bed sheet that had been strewn across the dining-room table, I finally realized I’d had enough.

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - critter companions RGB Dear readers, it's me, Kenny

    I have bad knees. I have been told to blame my grandmother. I have also been told to blame her for my love of animals. Today, we celebrate the 100th Critter Companions column.

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE mummies 1 033014.jpg 'Mummies of the World' exhibit arrives in Buffalo

    As visitors arrived for the recent NCAA basketball tournament games in Buffalo, a much older group of visitors arrived via motorcade at the Buffalo Museum of Science — but these newcomers to the Queen City wouldn’t be seeking out a place to have a beer between games or where to find the region’s best chicken wings.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - double trouble RGB Years later, still spending sunny days on Sesame Street

    I always knew we’d hit “the Elmo years.”

    Going into parenthood, it seemed like a given. Both my husband and I  were “Sesame Street” fans from childhood ourselves, and we were happy enough to pass it on to a new generation. And we knew, having friends with children of the applicable age, that in this day and age “Sesame Street” equalled Elmo, the squeaky-voiced “furry red menace” (thus dubbed by Oscar the Grouch) of parents everywhere.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE Local Restaurant Week 2 033014.jpg Back for another bite

    As spring finally starts to unfold in Western New York, residents are likely eager to get out of their houses — and organizers of Local Restaurant Week hope they’ll consider eating out as they do that.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wineries invite visitors to take a Taste of the Trail

    If one weekend of food and wine pairings is a good thing, two weekends of food and wine pairings must be even better.

    For the first time, the Taste of the Trail event, which takes place Friday through April 6 and April 11 to 13 on the Niagara Wine Trail, will be split into two weekends, with half the trail’s wineries taking part the first weekend and half the second, said Elizabeth Maute, wine trail coordinator.

    March 31, 2014

  • sig - critter companions RGB CRITTER COMPANIONS: Rewards for playing nice

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE signs of spring 1 032314.jpg Region's favorite signs of spring gear up for season

    Ah, the signs of spring: The birdsong, the flowers, the green grass, the flowing waters of the Erie Canal or Niagara River ... and the words “Opening soon” on the marquee of your favorite seasonal business.

    March 24, 2014 1 Photo